Still Reigning

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In Slayer's "In Their Own Words," the 17-minute documentary that is one of the bonus features to the DVD Still Reigning, a fan claims that the band has had ten gold albums and complains that they have never had an episode of VH1's Behind the Music devoted to them. In fact, as of the release of this video, Slayer had scored exactly four gold albums, their most recent certification coming ten years earlier for Divine Intervention, which was their only album to reach the Top Ten. None of its follow-ups, 1996's Undisputed Attitude, 1998's Diabolus in Musica, or 2001's God Hates Us All, spent more than six weeks in the Billboard 200. It is perhaps no surprise, then, that instead of recording a tenth new studio album, Slayer is devoting itself to looking back and catering to its existing fan base. Their first DVD, 2003's War at the Warfield, presented a live show from 2001; it, too, went gold, which for long-form videos means sales of 50,000 copies. Still Reigning, their second DVD, presents portions of a concert performed at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta, ME, on July 11, 2004, at which the group performed their 1986 breakthrough album Reign in Blood in its entirety. It doesn't take too long to do that; the original album, devoted to short, fast-tempo thrash-metal titles like "Angel of Death" and "Criminally Insane," ran only 29 minutes. This version lasts 34:49, but that's including the credits sequence at the end and some backstage footage. Reunited with original drummer Dave Lombardo, Slayer runs through the material efficiently, the film alternating between color and black-and-white sequences. The one big special effect is a rain machine filled with water dyed red that dumps what looks like blood on the band (particularly singer/bassist Tom Araya) during the final song, "Reigning Blood." Also included is a 27:22 sequence of six bonus songs from the same concert, most drawn from the early days of Slayer's career.

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